Off-Campus Release Process



Disclaimer Regarding Off-Campus Leases

Saint John’s University advises all students not to sign a lease for an off-campus rental property without receiving an official Exemption from the Residency Requirement. Committing to a lease agreement with an off-campus rental property is not grounds for nor merits an Exemption from the Residency Requirement.

Applications for Exemptions

There are two types of applications for an exemption to the Residency Requirement:

  • Qualified Exemptions
  • General Exemptions

Qualified Exemptions are for individuals who meet one of the following criteria:

  • Students who are over the age of 23 on the first day of the fall semester
  • Students who are married or who have dependent children living with them.
  • Students participating in credited internships, clinicals, or student teaching more than 30 miles from Saint John's University
  • Students whose parents/legal guardians live within 20 miles driving and are planning to stay at home with their parents/legal guardians
  • Students who are enrolled for less than 12 credits for the fall semester
  • Military service veteran status

General Exemptions are for all students who wish to live off-campus and do not have a qualified criterion.  Students who wish to apply for a General Exemption must meet the following criteria:

  • Currently in academic good standing (not on probation)
  • Cumulative GPA of 2.50 or higher
  • Currently in conduct good standing (not on probation)
  • Has not been found responsible for five or more student conduct incidents

Requests for exemptions based on financial hardship must demonstrate that dropping out of Saint John’s is the only alternative to solving the hardship and show the exhaustion of all available resources: financial aid, grants, loans, etc. To verify their financial hardship, a student must provide tax forms and other documentation for review by the Director of Financial Aid. Submit requests via email with rationale and documentation to [email protected] and [email protected]​​​​​​​

Requests for exemptions based on or due to a medical condition need verification from both a physician and Accessibility Services that the condition warrants accommodations other than those that can be reasonably provided in university housing. Please contact Accessibility Services for more information.


Students determined to be ineligible for an exemption from the residency requirement have the right to file a written appeal of the decision within five (5) business days of receipt of notification of ineligibility. All appeals submitted after the deadline will be held for a potential Round 2 review process.

A student may appeal the ineligible determination for any of the following conditions:

  • Alleged procedural errors which substantially affected the review of the request
  • Introduction of new information that would likely affect the decision

Students will be allowed to appeal the decision of a residency requirement exemption request only once.

Exemption Process

Each year, the University allows a limited number of exemptions to students who want to live off-campus. This number is usually smaller than the number of applicants. To facilitate this, we use a waiting list to manage off-campus releases. After the eligible candidates are determined, candidates are added to the waiting list and groups can be formed. The selection of off-campus housing, or granting of exemptions, is then facilitated through the Fall Housing Selection process. As part of that process, all students are assigned a selection number and eligible individuals or groups can select off-campus housing. Candidates who are unable to select off-campus housing must select on-campus housing but will remain on the waiting list for an off-campus release.